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Just another average day in the desert southwest, till the winds kick up! Dust storms in Southern Nevada can limit visibility when sightseeing in a wilderness area. Usually a dust storms result in a thick lingering haze in the Lake Mead Recreation Area. It can be difficult to see the shoreline on the other side of the lake during such an event.
East in Arizona and south in the low Mojave Desert there are vast expanses of flat land. When the wind gusts in one direction over silty desert flat land, the dust gathers at the head of the storm and it looks like a mountainous tsunami wave that is made out of nothing but dirt. There are some dramatic looking photos of this kind of dust storm on the internet. A massive dust storm like this can wreak havoc on car air filters and home air conditioners. Breathing is nearly impossible without a bandana or dust mask.
Venturing out in the desert when dust storm warnings are broadcasted is not really a good thing to do. Many times, the roads that traverse long stretches of the desert are closed by the Department Of Transportation when visibility reaches the danger point. Instead of waiting several hours for the roads to open back up way out in the middle of nowhere, the better choice is to hunker down somewhere like a restaurant or a resort in a town nearby.
By the time that I was done with the scenic drive on Lakeshore Road along the south end of Lake Mead, the road closures were just being set in place. Lakeshore Road intersects with Highway 93 near Boulder City and Hoover Dam. Where Highway 93 veered due south to Searchlight, Nevada, the road was closed due to zero visibility. I figured that I better just scoot on back to Las Vegas rather than risk being stuck in this area all day.
For outdoor photography I usually use a Nikon D90 SLR with a 50x or 300x lens. Needless to say, the clarity of the pictures are usually pretty good. I was not sure about what to expect from the photos that were shot on this hazy dusty day. Sometimes dusty air caused a digital camera to fail to focus like it should. Fortunately most of the photos turned out okay. The hazy atmosphere actually created some interesting effects, like scenic landscapes fading into an endless distance.
The photos in today's destination were shot at Lake Mead from the area near Lake Las Vegas on south to the Hoover Dam Reservoir area near Boulder City. This section of the Lake Mead Recreation Area is a boater's paradise. The Boulder Beach Campground is in this area too.
There are many interest tall rock outcrop islands in the south section of Lake Mead that create surreal looking scenery. Many folks head to the sheer cliffs in this area to spend the day cliff diving. There are also many small coves that attract some good size fish. The striped bass in Lake Mead have been known to reach world record size in the deep water troughs in this end of the big lake.
Many people do not realize just how big Lake Mead is. If the entire shoreline of Lake Mead was stretched out into a straight line, the length would almost equal the shoreline of the State of California. That is a lot of desert lake shoreline to explore!
When visiting Las Vegas on a long vacation or after hitting a big jackpot, Lake Mead is always a good option. There are plenty of boat rental businesses and fishing charters to be found in this area. Spending some time having some fun in the sun is always a worthwhile venture.
A clear sunny day is always better than a hazy dust storm day at Lake Mead. Grilling some hot dogs and burgers in the great outdoors, while swimming and cliff diving on a sunny weekend, is just good old fashioned fun at its best!